All winter I was poking around the apartment looking for a project, and now that the weather is conducive for spray painting, it was perfect timing for this old brown tray to find its way to me. A coworker was giving it away and I snatched it up, I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. I saw this dresser DIY over on Design*Sponge and wanted to take a stab at doing an alternating chevron pattern - something a little different than just a zig-zag (are we kind of over chevrons already?) So this seemed like something I wouldn't get sick of as the trend fades away.
So here's a how-to in case you'd like to try your hand at this. The taping was the hardest part, but if you have steady hands and good eyes, you can get away with little measuring.
To start, sand the tray. This one had a brown paint/factory finish, so we tried to get most of it buffed down so the paint would stick.
Wipe the dust and debris off with a clean, dry cloth. Then, spray paint the tray - we did white, and it probably took about 4 coats. In retrospect, we probably could have primed it and done less coats - but it wasn't a big deal. *However, before you do the last coat - gently sand the tray with very fine sandpaper. This will give your last coat an even finish that will able to handle the tape.
Now for the hard part ;) I bought one-inch painter's tape, but wanted two-inch stripes, so had to double up the strips. The easiest way to do this is measure the halfway point of the tray (where the points meet in the middle) and draw a faint pencil line to guide you.
Then lay the tape strips down, starting at the edges and working toward the center. I used a ruler and x-acto to trim the tape, using that center line as a guide. In the left photo, you can see me peeling away the tape I trimmed, to reveal a clean edge.
A trick to getting the lines parallel: measure the white space (the non-taped areas) at multiple points - they should measure about the same as the width of the taped areas. So everything should be two inches in width.
Then, tape newspaper over the edges so that the spray paint won't make its way to other parts of the tray. Spray two coats of a contrasting color - I chose a bold metallic gold - then peel the tape off (wait 24 hours to make sure it's dry)!
Tah-dah! An old tray becomes new and beautiful. We will probably finish it with a clear coat to protect the paint job. Have you taken on any challenging tape jobs? How did they come out?